Cecil Fielder, 1990 Upper Deck
The thing I remember most about Cecil Fielder's 1990 season is this card. Not that I think about Cecil Fielder's 1990 season a lot, or at all, but sometimes, when I do - like when I'm posting this card to this blog and need an introductory paragraph - I immediately think of this card.
The main reason I think of this card is because the 1 in 51 looks SO MUCH like a 7 to me. Every time I look at this card, which is almost never, but DOES include now, I think, "Wait, did he hit 51 home runs or 57? I feel like it would have been a huge deal if it were 57 because that is very close to 61. But I don't remember it being such a huge deal. I know I could go online right now or just flip this card over, but it bothers me that I have already spent so much time wondering about this. I was supposed to be at work an hour ago. Wait, was I? What day is it?"
Obviously, artist V. Wells did a fantastic job here - the action and posed montage is splendid and an obvious nod to some of Monet's* finest work. I do, however, feel as though the number is the centerpiece, and in that regard at least some level of failure is at play here. The major point this card is trying make - Cecil Fielder hit THIS MANY home runs - is not clear to me. Maybe if the racing stripes were going the other way?
Honestly though, is it me? Am I only the only one who thinks this looks much more like 57 than 51? It's possible I'm over-thinking this.
In my quest to obtain multiple sources citing 51, I did venture on to Fielder's baseball-reference page. I noticed he is listed there at 230 lbs. That literally seems 100 pounds less than I remember him being. Every recollection I have of Cecil Fielder seems conflicted and warped. All I know for sure these days is that his son Prince Amukamara also plays sports and doesn't eat vegetables.
Pretty neat that Fielder's 50th and 51st home runs came on the season's final day. Also he hit six more home runs, giving him eight, which is a record.
The last three games for the Tigers were in New York. Fielder went 0-for-8 in the first two games of the series and it looked as if the 49 jinx might stop him.
I recall nothing about a 49 jinx, but the 49 jinx seems comical in retrospect. Forty-nine was the average number of home runs hit by each player in the years 1998 - 2003. Hey, remember when Richie Sexson hit 45 home runs TWICE? What the farts happened there? Richie Sexon's middle name is Lockwood, by the way. I am learning a lot today, on the Internet.
Finally, Fielder hit a Steve Adkins fastball that reached the "Upper Deck" and made history.
I like what Upper Deck did there. Brought it back to them because they are the focus here. I wonder if they would have paid the $6 million to commission this artist's rendering if Fielder's 50th home run had barely cleared the outfield wall, hitting the Topps of it.
*Monet is the only famous artist that came to mind. I assume he also did baseball player montages.